Black Sabbath

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!


Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton


Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.


`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.


Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.





Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.


They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath and Black Oak Arkansas FROM SOUNDS, May 25, 1974

A new year is here, and as my first posting I think that this double concert review will kick off things in style. Funny that these two “black” bands toured together. Enjoy!


Concert review

By Pete Makowski

Stoke, Bloody, Stoke, eh? I can now admit to seeing my first Sabbath gig and it proved to be quite a mind shattering experience. For a start Stoke Trentham Gardens venue is quite an odd place anyway what with a ridiculously limited capacity (something to do with the doors on the side of the hall not being counted as fire exits) also, it`s in the centre of what could be described as Stoke`s version of Kew Gardens. It seemed quite strange to see a band as heavy as Sabbath in such serene surroundings.
The band that kicked off the evening were American friends of Sabb – Black Oak Arkansas who left me rather dazed and confused. They went down extremely well and I can understand why but the music they played was absolutely dire. But that didn`t really matter because with a showman like Jim Dandy they could help but go down well. That guy comes over strong like a sledge hammer in the guts. His vocals are deep and raunchy and he struts around the stage like an arrogant peacock occasionally leaping up in the air and pulling various stunts.
All the numbers sounded the same with the exception of “Mutants Of The Monster” and their rendition of “Dixie” which was very well played.
Ozzie Osbourne and Jim Dandy project themselves in a similar way and they would also win first prize in the look alike contest. Something that impressed me more than Dandy`s cahorting was the drummer Tommy Aldridge, who played an immaculate solo. Technically I wouldn`t know how good it was, that didn`t matter it was just so hard and
rhythmic that the guy even got a standing ovation from the audience. And when he leaped out to the front of the stage offering his sticks to the audience, there was virtually a riot.
He then went back and played some more without sticks, that guy has just got to be seen to be believed. The band had to do an encore which turned out to be their best song of the night, their single “Jim Dandy” and kids were still screaming for more after that. If this band`s music matched up to their stage act they`d be sensational but until then I can see them doing well at gigs but I wouldn`t imagine their records selling in the masses. Still I can honestly say I`ve never seen an unknown support band go down so well.

The stage was done up quite nicely with an English and American flag suspended from either side and a huge crucifix was hanging in the middle with strands of white wool trailing down either side. Their gear consists of speakers on top of speakers and mountains of amps – I`ve never seen so much equipment.
Sabbath strode onto the stage calmly and the crowd immediately leapt onto their feet. They opened the set with what I believed to be “Tomorrows Dream” and Ozzie leapt into action straight away flaying his arms all over the place and peace signs seemed to be the order of the day. Boy are they loud, it`s not so much the volume it`s the way they use it. It pounds into your nervous system and renders you helpless.
Each number kept at the same thunderous pace. The best part of the night was when they played material of their new album including “Killing Yourself To Live” and “Sabbra Cadabra” which featured some neat guitar from a short haired Tony Iommi.
Being a bit of a riff rat myself I really rate their new album which is much more refined than their previous efforts although it stays closely to the roots that they were set on the first and their other good album. Other numbers the band pounded away were “War Pigs”, “Snowblind”, “Iron Man”, and “Children Of The Grave”, which closed the show. Of course they came back for an encore.
“This songs from `Paranoid` what`s it going to be?” screamed Ozzie.
“PARANOID!” the audience yelled back, they were right. The band really let loose. Bassist Geezer Butler is quite a showman himself moving all the time occasionally kicking a leg up into the air.
I`ve got to admit, for the most part I didn`t enjoy this concert and I found myself watching the audience more than the band. I just couldn`t cope with the sound which came over dull and monotonous. But I`m glad I saw them just for the fact that I can now appreciate why their fans like them so much.
I spoke to Ozzie after the set and it seemed that the band were disgruntled with the sound the monitors were giving.
“For sound this place is terrible it`s like a bloody second world war aircraft hanger,” said Osbourne, “but I suppose this is the only good venue. Anyway the kids enjoyed themselves and that`s what I`m here for.” I wish I`d said that.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Goldie Zelkowitz, Curtis Knight, Simon Alexander, Steely Dan, Chris Stainton, Ronnie Lane, Elliott Murphy, Loudon Wainwright, Tim Buckley, Steve Miller, Beach Boys, Tommy Vance, Jim Simpson, Stefan Grossman, Lynsey de Paul, Mott the Hoople, Kevin Ayers,
Dave Cousins, ELP.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath FROM SOUNDS, November 17, 1973

One of the greatest albums in rock history, along with many other albums this band released. Here is the review in Sounds from the time of its release. And you may like to know that Skip Bifferty was an English psychedelic rock band who released their one and only album in 1968. Something that must have been a fact only known for connoisseurs even in 1973.


Album Review:

Black Sabbath: “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”
(WWA 003).

By Rob Mackie

There`s a really pretty instrumental called “Fluff” on this one, which features Tony Iommi playing harpsichord in semi-Elizabethan style, with acoustic and steel guitars and piano, and suggests a future Iommi solo album might well be worth a careful listen. I mention that first because you might well assume that Sabbath are capable of nothing but blasting the eardrums with their prophecies of doom and destruction for all. Well, of course, there`s plenty of that too. When they`re in full swing, Sabbath`s style is a bit like that TV commercial where the hammer smashes the peach. If you can`t argue with a car, what chance have you of even complaining as the B.S. tank rolls relentlessly on? Ozzy`s high, nasal vocals cut through the deep grumbles of the instruments like a cry of true pain, with lines about “the execution of your mind” and such like. The backdrop is laid down firm and true – if Sabbath ain`t your cup of blood, then that`s that, but if you like heavies, these guys know what they`re doing. Iommi`s guitar is always coming through with something above the general rut – his solo at the end of “Looking For Today” put me in mind of Skip Bifferty, which is no complaint. Synthesisers have extended the band`s range too – guest Rick Wakeman shows the way at the end of side one, and on the second side, all the band except drummer Bill Ward take up the infernal machines, and don`t do badly by them. Menacing stuff, for those as likes to be threatened.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, John Lennon, Free, Ronnie Lane, Ozzy Osbourne, Carlos Santana, Average White Band, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin, Magna Carta, Alice Cooper.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) FROM SOUNDS, November 17, 1973

Well, this article is more than interesting. At the end there`s some information that I as a casual fan of Sabbath and an avid reader of music magazines actually never knew. Mind-blowing that Ozzy had plans outside of this band as early as this. This is the kind of information that really makes it worthwhile to get this out there to the music fans – the kind of fans that likes to debate these things. Have fun!


Ozzy: Disillusioned Prospector

Rob Mackie talking to Black Sabbath`s Ozzy Osbourne

When a band rises to fame with a doomy view of the world laid down in front of elephantine riffs, and lyrics that make Barry McGuire and Leonard Cohen sound like Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson, and then they make a mint and the management company`s offices are lined with their gold records, and they finally have time to sit back and take their time and eventually get to pause for breath and get away from American airlines and plastic hamburgers and a hotel room that looks exactly like the one we were in yesterday, where was it?
And when they actually have time to see their wives again and have time to p-a-u-s-e and think in sentences. Then, you might suppose some mellowing would set in. Anger with the world might lessen a bit, a few happy songs might get written?
Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath`s singer, sits in an office with Black Sabbath`s gold albums on the wall, still looking baffled with the whole process that catapulted Black Sabbath from nowhere to up there like an H-bomb mushroom. The gold records are echoed by an equally gleaming gold watch on his wrist. But is he happy, you may ask. Is he hell. “I`ve just written a song called `Am I Going Insane?`, that`s about the way I`m feeling,” he`ll tell you, without laughing.
Mention that you`re baffled as to how Sabbath conquered America in a Black but bloodless coup that seemed to spring up just by word of mouth, and Ozzie`s eyes widen, and it`s obvious he`s got less idea how it happened then you have.


Probably Sabbath just mined the right oil-well at the right time, when the young kids were rebelling against all that self-satisfied peace-signed self-congratulatory hip smugness of their elders. The kids knew better – the future was just a long dark alley with a row of hoods lined up in the shadows on either side waiting to put a knife firmly between the shoulder blades.
All that was left to do was to go to a Sabbath concert, get wasted mindless and let a black menacing wave crash over you for an evening. It might not cure the world, but it did bring a certain lemming-like oblivion, and maybe in the seventies, that was all you could hope for.
Success hasn`t exactly made Ozzy less paranoid. He peers out rather defensively at the world, fiddles with his watch, as if it embarrasses him. “The reason we started singing about that side of things was just to do something different, because everyone else was writing about the opposite. But you think what people will do for money and dope and booze, they`ll take a life for money you know. It`s a big vicious circle that comes back to the same thing – money. Every time.
I was watching the television the other week, a programme about Ethiopia. It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting. The living conditions were thirty times worse than Belsen, and at the same time – we`re getting political now – but at the same time as these kids are walking around like rakes, starving, they`re sending thousands of pounds worth of guns to Israel to kill people. But they can`t send them a few bags of rice over to Ethiopia.”
If money`s the end of one vicious circle, it`s also the beginning of another. “I`m very confused because in the last four or five years, my living standards are rising and rising, my whole way of life has changed.


“My whole outlook on people has changed too, not because I wanted it to, but because people have made it. You`re isolated. People think you`re rolling in money, they don`t understand about the tax man and all that. I realise there`re a lot of bastards about. I`ve been taken to the cleaners about 1,000 times. What can you do when an old friend that you grew up with knocks on your door and says `Can I borrow £100. I need some money or else I`m gonna get thrown out?`
“I`ve very often said O.K., but I`m having to change my ways now, because it`s getting a bit too much.”
Becoming a star has brought more disillusion than fulfilment. “You look at people on TV when you first start, and you think to yourself, `What a terrific scene!` Then suddenly you`re in it, and where you thought everything would be roses, you find you have a lot of hang-ups. Because you haven`t got the hang-ups that you had before, you start to invent problems.
“When you get beyond the usual thing of wondering where the next tin of beans are coming from, then you start to get very insecure, at least that`s what I`ve found. The only friends I`ve got now are people in the same position as me. The amount of rip-offs I`ve had… unbelieveable,” he concludes with a puzzled frown.
Life for Ozzy really does seem to have the same apocalyptic outlook of Sabbath songs like “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”: “Nobody will ever let you know / when you ask the reason why / They just tell you that you`re on your own / Fill your head all full of lies.” Both are filled with a kind of impotent rage at the enormity of the world`s evils.


Still, within the cosmic gloom, there are some small happinesses. Like an album, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, which allowed the band to take their time in the studio and get things the way they wanted to for the first time. And in spite of Sabbath`s recent lack of live appearances here – the last was at Alexandra Palace – the advance orders are around 25,000.
Having “Done their apprenticeship” as Ozzy describes the initial slog of EIGHT U.S. tours in 18 months, the band has finally got to the point of wanting to go on to a stage again, and they`ll be doing dates here in December.
Of all the unlikely groups, Sabbath have moved individually out into the country, where Ozzy who has never grown a thing in his life, is delighted to be able to get all his vegetables direct from the garden in Stafford. “They`re so much better tasting.”
Sometime next year, we might expect an Ozzy solo album. Will that be lighter, happier? “Well, I`ve only written one number for it so far, and that`s “Am I Going Insane?”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, John Lennon, Free, Ronnie Lane, Alice Cooper, Carlos Santana, Average White Band, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin, Magna Carta.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) FROM SOUNDS, September 4, 1971

One early interview with the master himself. Not a good start on the interview for Mr. Telford, and it seems to me that Mr. Iommi wasn`t too fond of or experienced in this situation at that time.
Good stuff anyway, so have a nice read.


The SOUNDS Talk-In

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

By Ray Telford

Can you tell me how the group started?

How we started? Look back in one of your papers and you`ll see it. I think we`ve done that one before. At the start it was just me and Bill (drummer Bill Ward) who were together and Ozzie and Geezer were in other groups. We all knew each other anyway, and to cut a long story short we just got together. This was in Birmingham.

Three years ago, by all accounts, you were playing a lot of jazz material and making a good job of it.

Well, we weren`t doing anything at all with that sort of thing and we just sort of got into something a bit heavier, you know. We liked it and it just kind of progressed and progressed from there. But even now there`s touches of jazz and things we put in sometime on stage – just to get back into the old thing.


What are your answers to people who continually criticise Black Sabbath on their choice of material?

Well, we play it mainly because we like it, you know. We like what we`re doing – we just like the heavy thing. We found it was exciting and really got into it and that was it.


Did the crowds enjoy the music at first or was it simply something you wanted to play regardless?

We played it because we liked it. Then the crowds got to like it. We wouldn`t change if the crowds stopped liking it. If the heavy thing wentout we wouldn`t go on to something else that was new, like soul.

That`s what your advert says: “We would rather starve than change”.

Yeah, that`s it because we did starve when we started. We had nothing and nobody would book us, or listen to us or just take any time to bother. It was then that we were starving because we wanted to stick together and keep our music. That was it.


What differences do you see between Black Sabbath and similar bands, like Led Zeppelin or Grand Funk Railroad?

That`s hard. Every band has their own sound. Grand Funk have their own sound, Mountain have theirs and I think we have ours, even down to words and vocal harmony. Mountain have got a sort of Creamy sound like vocal wise – they`re really good. Then there`s us, like, we sing about things that are happening. We all sing about different things.


So you`re all playing for the same market?

Oh yeah, we`re playing mainly for the same people.

What age group is that?

In England? Well, it has varied, you know, since the single. When we first had the single it was bought by twelve and thirteen-year-olds or something but that dropped off a bit and we got back to sixteen to eighteen year olds.

What about America?

Well, you get any age there. It`s unbelievable. You can get, like, some who are about thirty or forty or whatever it is who come along and do like it. But mainly in the States it`s around eighteen.

Would you agree that Black Sabbath are looked on in the States as more of an underground band?

I think that in the States people are more into music. Like they`ll go miles to see a band and they seem to get more involved with the group. They know about you personally as well and they just get wrapped up in it all.

Who writes the band`s lyrics?

Geezer, the bass player, writes most of the lyrics. Some of them are very doomy but they vary from that to drugs and the bad things that are happening with the band. You know, just the sort of thing that people know about and groups can sing about.

Would you say your music has a lot to do with drugs?

No, I wouldn`t say it was druggy but it`s something that people know about. But in the songs we get the chance to mention all about drugs and things. We like people who come along to the gigs to get as much as they can out of it because we can get into it when we`re on stage. We try to relieve all the tension in the people who listen to us. To get everything out of their bodies – all the evil and everything.

Does this hark back to your original publicity where Sabbath were supposed to be involved in black magic?

Well, that was nothing to do with us anyway. You know somebody got hold of it and blew it up to such an extent that it took us six months to get it down to say that we weren`t black magic.



There is still an evil element in your music, though?

Yeah, there`s this kind of feel about it. See a lot of people in the States come and say how mysterious a lot of the songs are but they build this up in their heads before they even come to see us.


Do you think that the melodic content in a song is still important for it to sell?

What if it`s got melody? Yeah, well some of our songs have got a melody bit in them. Like on the first album we`ve got a few melody bits in that sort of catches the ear. I suppose it`s all important, really.

What was the story behind you joining Jethro Tull?

Oh, I`ve forgotten now. I was only with them three weeks because we were just into two different things. We were going in different directions.

Why is it do you think Black Sabbath are so popular in America?

Well, we go down amazingly well. It was just one of those things that you can`t believe has happened. `Cause in America we made it so quick you know, we came up fast. The first tour went really well and the word spread around and by the second tour we were headlining at the Fillmore which has never been known for a group on its second tour.


What are your reactions when people dissect your songs and read things into what are probably meant to be harmless lyrics?

Yeah, you get that everywhere. We try not to think about it. It`s like getting slagged – I mean we`ve been slagged so many bloody times now. I get to wonder sometimes, you know, there must be someone else they can slag. You just get used to it.
For instance I remember one review of our first album and it must have been given the worst rating ever and the things they said about it I thought: “Oh, Christ, this is it,” and it really brought us down because we wondered if everyone else would think the same. It`s just like one man`s opinion. It`s true that the black magic publicity might have influenced some people in their opinions of the first LP and that`s why it pissed us off to hear about all this shit that we were doing spells.
The audiences knew what we were doing but the reporter who came along and had never seen us just took it for granted that we did do black magic and all that sort of stuff.

What differences are there between your new album, “Master of Reality” and the group`s last two?

It`s a bit more varied than the other two. Like I did a little acoustic thing that lasts for about thirty seconds just to give it a little break. That`s all it was meant for because it breaks up the rest of the numbers. It makes a little change and then people will notice the heavy things more. Instead of doing an album of all heavy numbers that little classical thing and a slow number where I play a bit of flute shows what we can do – we`re not just a heavy band.
We love playing jazz and we`ve surprised a lot of people in what we can play in jazz because what we play now is very loud and basic and people find it easier to get into. What we played before was a bit complicated and people couldn`t grasp it – “What the hell`s this sort of thing?”


How much further can you go with your present type of music?

That`s a hard question. Well, we hope to go tons further but where it`ll go to nobody knows. After “Paranoid” someone asked us what the next one would be like and we just hadn`t a clue – no idea at all.

How much of your material is worked out in the studio?

Well, on the “Paranoid” album, we wrote “Paranoid” in the studio – five minutes that was.

The words too?

Well, it just took Geezer a few minutes to write them down. There was a couple we wrote in the studio off “Paranoid” and I think there was one off the first. The last album we wrote the one with the flute in the studio.


When did you start playing flute?

When we played jazz and that sort of thing I used to play flute then. Of course, I got the usual people saying it sounded like so and so and it was like Roland Kirk so we thought “get rid of that”. See, you always get classed with someone else.
If a new group comes out now they`re like Led Zeppelin or like Black Sabbath or Deep Purple and they`re not given a chance but there you are, what can you do? As long as the people like it, though, I can`t see any harm in it myself.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Carole King, Audience, Jethro Tull, John Cale, Stud, Steve Cropper, Charlie Parker, Bernie Taupin, Helen Reddy, Alan Bown, Moody Blues, Curtiss Maldoon, Seals and Crofts, Osibisa, Poco, Hawkwind, Peter Bardens, Open Road, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Keith Christmas, Freddie King, Beach Boys, Dave Ellis.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.